Joe Kidd, 20.
R3: What benefits do you think there are for Wales as a member of the United Kingdom?
JK: To start with I expect I wouldn’t be studying here in Cardiff if freedom of movement between Wales and the rest of the UK didn’t exist. Sadly, the Welsh Government of an independent nation would most likely look to re-join the EU, yet if freedom of movement was to remain, that would open up a back door for European Citizens to access the rest of the UK. This wouldn’t be allowed to happen, and it would create a barrier for any Welsh students who want to study at English, Scottish, or Northern Irish universities and vice versa.
There are numerous economic cases against Independence, most trade and business flows across the border to places like the North of England, Midlands, and the M4 corridor, rather than within Wales itself. But importantly, a majority of the Welsh population live within 30 minutes from England, the union ensures there is no unnecessary division between these two countries.
R3: Do you see parallels between Welsh independence and Brexit? What do you think motivates each movement?
JK: There’s definitely no parallel concerning support, 52.5 percent of the Welsh turnout voted to leave the EU, whereas in the most recent BBC poll support for Welsh Independence is polling in the teens. There is no mandate for a referendum. If Welsh Independence was such a big issue, we wouldn’t be seeing Senedd election turnouts below 50 percent every time.
If a lot of the Welsh Independence supporters had their way, we’d be in the European Union or at the very least the EU vaccination scheme, we’d be lagging behind and wouldn’t be experiencing the amazing rollout that we’ve seen across the UK so far.
R3: Do you think you can simultaneously be patriotic towards both Wales and the UK? Do you feel like Wales is a country in the same sense as the UK?
JK: Most definitely. Welsh culture is something to celebrate and Wales as a country has great potential, all Welsh unionists would agree. We have achieved so much to be proud of as the United Kingdom, Wales and England share a common ancestry, one that dates back hundreds and hundreds of years, this is a partnership different from that of other UK countries.
All you have to look at is sport, whether it’s support for Team GB at the Olympics or Wales in the Six Nations, it’s clear you can be patriotic to both.
I think twenty years of a Welsh Labour government has proven to everyone that trying to separate Wales from the rest of the UK isn’t a successful strategy, especially when it comes to performing with policy regarding the economy, education, and health.
We would like to thank Lloyd and Joe for their time and contribution to ‘Welsh pride’, helping us to celebrate Welsh history on St. David’s Day.